Skeeter, the 1993 film from New Line Cinema, is an engaging piece of cinematic beauty. What the hell am I saying? This piece of refuse graced my VCR a few weeks ago and haunted me to the point that I had to share a bit of it with you.
Skeeter's tagline was: "Earth is the Final Breeding Ground." (This title is particularly funny because in my research of this film I discovered the Porn career of one Skeeter Kerkove, usually just credited as "Skeeter". Sadly this is just a coincidence; this is not a porno-horror.) Skeeter's cover featured the swollen head (non-sexual, I swear) of a killer mosquito and about two dozen glowing green "eggs" waiting to hatch and bring unholy terror to our world. Were there Giant Killer Mosquitoes in this film? Sure, you can't really argue that the definitively insect-like Muppets pranced on and off the screen occasionally. But was this a killer insect film? :sigh: No. Not really. Calling this a killer mosquito film is like calling Titanic a disaster film. Sure, the disaster is in there, but it's also chock full of "King of the World/sex in a car" crap. Kinda takes away from the whole "disaster" thing. There's drama and there happens to be an iceberg. Skeeter just happens to have killer mosquitoes. I'll end up focusing on them more because, quite frankly, the rest of the film feels like a railroad spike in the knee.
Let's break down the plot: A small town by the name Clear Sky has a poisoned water supply brought on by an evil industrialist who put toxic waste in the a nearby abandoned mine. Said industrialist hires goons and bribes the sheriff to overlook the horrible state of affairs. Giant mosquitoes are then killed with a make-shift flamethrower.
Here's a quick doodle summarizing the plot in case that was too many words for you:
Point is, the mosquitoes are sort-of just movie "trimming" for this little dish. They're there, they have their scene or two, but whatever those scenes are, they're anything but plot related.
Let's meet our Hero: Roy Boone. That's him right there doing a bit of artistic welding. In his introductory scene we watch him explore his artistic side, ride his motorcycle topless through town, and put on his police uniform. I hate it when a movie tries so hard to get us to like a character. "You don't like the sensitive artist types? Look at him now! He's a rugged badboy with no respect for the law! Wait, you don't like that. Catch what he's doing now! He's suiting up to uphold the law in a small close-knit community. LOVE HIM, GOD DAMN IT!" The whole "sensitive artist/rugged bad-boy/police officer" thing comes across as something from a bad romance novel, which, considering what else this film has to offer....is pretty on-task. He meets his high school sweetheart who's returned to Clear Sky and running around town on the back of her favorite horse. There's several heart-to-heart conversations throughout the film. I'll paraphrase my favorite one:
Sarah: It's nice to see my old room now that I'm back in town.
Roy: Yup. I spent a lot of time in here ever since you left. Your Dad was real nice about it.
Sarah: Excuse me? You spent time in my house and my room while I've been away? What the hell were you doing?
Roy: You know, going through your things, smelling your sheets, trying on you clothes.
Sarah: That's so sweet.
I NEVER tell my ex-girlfriends that I go through their stuff when they're away. Still, apparently the poisoned water of Clear Sky has lowered the collective IQ of the town and it doesn't register. Anyway, the bad romance novel stereotype continues through the "dramatic" and "poignant" scene where Boone follows his girl on horseback in his Jeep Wrangler. Did I mention that Roy Boone (our Hero) also has problems with buttons? The guy has more trouble keeping his shirt buttoned than Jean-Claude Van Damme. Oh and whenever Roy and Sarah are on-screen together I swear to GOD they play softcore porno music. Let's move on.
But enough of the boring stuff. How to get us going?
I think a giant mosquito to the face should do nicely.
All the cows are dead because of poisoned water and the police start finding bodies that are sucked dry like Capri-Sun fruit juice bags. The hero's Native American sidekick takes some bad peyote and has a bad drug episode along the way. They find a dead drunk (literally) and his daughter in a fear-induced coma. Of course, we, the audience, got to see the actor have giant rubber mosquito puppets thrown at him in an earlier scene. After finding another body, the movie takes a 45 minute Mosquito-free break. That's why I think I can safely say this isn't really a killer mosquito film. Save one 3-second flashback, the mosquitoes disappear only to return for the final act. The corrupt industrialist (smarmily pictured to the right) has paid off the sheriff....who may or may not know about the mutant mosquitoes that are growing in "Ye Olde Toxic Dump/Mine". The industrialist hires thugs to kill Boone the Hero, but the goons get killed by killer mosquitoes at the last minute. Then Boone fashions a make-shift flamethrower (using those "sensitive artistic" skills mentioned earlier) to kill the mosquitoes. In retaliation, the bad guys have a very bad and far too long gunfight that involves far too many exploding barrels, slow-motion photography, and well, a whole bucket of suck. The hero saves his girlfriend from the evil Mosquito Mine (where all the Mosquitoes were) which by coincidence was also a "gunpowder" mine....which makes the big explosion that's necessary at the end of every crappy film fairly easy to justify. The Mosquitoes all die a horrible burning death and, as if begging for a sequel, the hero decides to stay in the crappy little town to fight the evil of the industrialist. :sigh: Such a terrible film that needed more mosquitoes. There's still a few more things of note that really need to be said.
Every film needs a good "final" death moment. Skeeter's is the corrupt sheriff who dies from killer mosquito bites. He lies there dead until someone crouches over him. Charles Napier springs to life to tell and show us how he "got one" of the evil creatures. He squeezed the, ahem, "life" out of it, cackling like a madman before he dies.
This is the coolest scene you'll ever see that involves filling an insect puppet up with red Jello.
There's one subplot that I haven't mentioned yet. I'm not going to explain it because I can't. There's one crazy guy in the desert that's capturing the giant mosquitoes and feeding them . It's not explained, it's not justified, and after we see him looking like a heroin junkie with a giant mosquito in his vein that's the last we see of him. I don't know why, but it's particularly memorable. Maybe it's the fact that New Line got resident freak actor Michael Pollard (Dick Tracy, American Gothic, Sleepaway Camp 3, House of 1000 Corpses) to play the goofy little creep. Maybe it's the fact that he's so freakin' happy to have a mosquito sucking him dry. Kind of makes you wonder what OTHER kind of hyper-specific fetishes are out there that we don't know about.
There's also a scene involving slutty women who get put into trunks by their impotent husbands, but I think the less said about that the better.
While this is a killer mosquito movie, the whole Mid-Western Town being taken over by an evil industrialist plot completely hurts. I don't know what to say. It's a killer mosquito movie that would've done better if it had had a hell of a lot more of them. I would say that this movie sucks....but that kind of pun is beneath me. If only this movie HAD been a Horror-Porno starring Skeeter Kerkove. Then at least I could understand why it was made.
I'll leave you with a random bit of trivia: The director and writer behind Skeeter (Clark Brandon) is also the star and writer of a film called Fast Food, where a restaurant's burgers cause people to have crazy amounts of sex, including guest porn-star Traci Lords. I swear there will never be a shortage of terrible films. Ever. Enjoy yourselves.
Everything above is copyrighted 2005 by Jared von Hindman unless it's obviously stolen, like pictures from the actually movie or what-not. Man, I need to get an official-sounding legal blurb or I'm going to get sued. :(